Sean McVay has been hinting at an early retirement from coaching since before the Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021. Now, the head coach may actually step away from the game, telling reporters after Sunday's regular-season finale that he'll take "appropriate time" to decide on his immediate NFL future. And even if he does return, he'll have a key staffer to replace, with offensive coordinator Liam Coen returning to the University of Kentucky after one season as McVay's right-hand man.

Shortly after Kentucky announced the news about Coen, ESPN reported that McVay is allowing his coaching staff to "search for other jobs without resistance." The head coach said in a team meeting that he is unsure of what his future holds, per Jeremy Fowler, and does not want to block his assistants from potentially pursuing other opportunities. 

Under NFL rules, teams can't block position coaches from interviewing for coordinator jobs, but they're allowed to block lateral moves, such as a linebackers coach or defensive coordinator taking the same job elsewhere. In this situation, the Rams will not block any lateral moves. 

That said, don't automatically assume McVay is stepping away. According to The Athletic, even if McVay stays, coaching staff changes will be coming.

One assistant who definitely won't be back is Coen. The 37-year-old originally spent three seasons with McVay from 2018-2020, first as assistant wide receivers coach and then assistant quarterbacks coach. After one year as Kentucky's QBs coach and offensive coordinator, Coen returned to the Rams for effectively the same role, replacing Kevin O'Connell as McVay's top offensive assistant this year. Now, he's back with the Wildcats in the same job, finalizing a three-year contract that first came together on Dec. 12, per the Lexington Herald-Leader.

UK confirmed Coen's return Tuesday, which had been assumed for weeks amid multiple reports that Coen and Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops were waiting for the NFL season to end to finalize the hire. ... (Coen's) deal will pay him $1.7 million next season and increase by $100,000 over the next two years.

Hampered by injuries to star players like quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and left tackle Joe Noteboom, the Rams offense took a major step backward after its 2021 Super Bowl run. McVay remained the team's play-caller while Coen manned the coordinator title as L.A. finished 5-12, the worst mark for any defending Super Bowl champion.